Rebuilding a Russell's Day Long Saddle

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
Most of us don't like the stock seat that comes from Honda.

On my bike I replaced it with a Corbin, which helped a lot. On my wife's bike I replaced it with a Russell's Day Long. But while the Day Long is superbly comfortable while riding, it is a pain in the legs at stop lights.

Russell's Day Long touring saddles have a 'wing' shape that puts padding under your thigh and creates a dish shaped seat that is supportive, well shaped, and eliminates pressure points. Just a great shape while you ride. But if you are intent on flat footing the bike while at a stop, or want to push the bike into a parking spot, the small wings that protrude out make it difficult unless you can stand tall over your saddle. On my wife's lowered 2016 NC700x, I can easily push the bike around, stand the bike at a stop, etc without any issues. But my wife, several inches shorter than me, has a difficult time reaching the ground comfortably do to the seats 'wings'.

FWIW, the R.D.L. saddle is built on a stock Honda seat pan. They install a heavy wire frame over the plastic seat pan and then use multi-density layers of foam over the wire. My plan is to trim the wings back about an inch, which can be done by simply re-shaping the foam. Then to reupholster the seat and hope she likes it better.

My thought is the trimmed back wings will offer SOME of the original extra support, but also offer LESS of a problem for shorter leg riders, like my wife, who want to flat foot the bike. The new shape has more rounded profile of the winglets as viewed from the top. But also more rounded contour from top to bottom. It is still pronounced and I believe will still offer substantial support, but also less inconvenience at stops. The original upholstery will no longer fit over the recontoured foam, but that is a fairly easy thing to replace.

One side is done. I need to get some new upholstery fabric, so this is a work in progress.


Screen Shot 2021-08-19 at 7.15.37 AM.png

Screen Shot 2021-08-19 at 7.15.51 AM.png

Screen Shot 2021-08-19 at 7.16.02 AM.png
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
Got both sides shaved back a bit. Recovered it with the original covering and went for a test ride. The wings are somewhat less supportive but fairly dramatically less intrusive when I stop at a traffic light/stop sign. I want to do a little more shaping as I don't have them quite symmetrical but this is going to work.

I will need to get some new vinyl seat material at some point. The original upholstery is cut, sewed and shaped to fit around those large foam wings. Now that they are smaller the material sags at the ends of those wings. But clearly this is working better so that is a good thing. My wife has not tested it yet, it currently is on my bike. I'll be riding it again later, and a bit longer, when I go back out. But like I said, it is not quite perfect, just better.

Currently she has my Corbin seat on her bike. Not sure how this will all play out but whichever bike the R.D.L. seat ends up on, someone is going to have a happy butt.
 

dduelin

Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
5,057
Reaction score
1,583
Points
113
Location
North FL USA
Visit site
Good luck experimenting. I guess it’s easier to remove width from a seat than add width to a narrow one. Darn expensive seat to cut up though.

I realize flat footing is important for her but also encourage her to try confidence building skill drills and rely less on duck walking. I know that’s easier said than done but it pays benefits in skill expansion that applies to any motorcycle instead of using hardware limitations.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
Did 3 test rides yesterday. I'm happy with it it, the re-shaping was not too radical, but about 1" of each wing tip was cut off. The wings were both tapered downward slightly. I'd say 90% of the original shape exists. It was just the tips that were cut off and rounded out a little. There is still prominent thigh support, it is just more friendly to use when you need to put a foot down.

New diamond pattern stitched fabric has been ordered for recovering the whole seat.

Honestly I think the original design was a bit extreme for the NC700x design. NC7--x models sit pretty tall in the saddle, the RDL seat design forces even a taller rider to the straddle the Frunk/seat seam, and even at 6' tall, it is uncomfortable. When I installed it on her lowered bike and I tested it, I didn't notice any issue because the bike is far lower than mine and it was no problem for me to straddle the bike as I stand above it.

Same test on my bike, where there is very little "air gap" between my seat and my bike's seat, if I stand over the bike and it was actually very uncomfortable for me to use the seat in stop & go traffic situations, parking lots, etc.

I did several tests with the modified seat. Full stop & hold on a down slope at a stop sign. Full stop & hold on an up slope at a stop sign. Backing into multiple parking spaces that had varieties of slopes (this was extremely difficult with the stock seat). Each task was far easier with the slightly modified seat.
 

sea dweller

Member
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
25
Points
13
Location
Palm City , Fl
Visit site
Got both sides shaved back a bit. Recovered it with the original covering and went for a test ride. The wings are somewhat less supportive but fairly dramatically less intrusive when I stop at a traffic light/stop sign. I want to do a little more shaping as I don't have them quite symmetrical but this is going to work.

I will need to get some new vinyl seat material at some point. The original upholstery is cut, sewed and shaped to fit around those large foam wings. Now that they are smaller the material sags at the ends of those wings. But clearly this is working better so that is a good thing. My wife has not tested it yet, it currently is on my bike. I'll be riding it again later, and a bit longer, when I go back out. But like I said, it is not quite perfect, just better.

Currently she has my Corbin seat on her bike. Not sure how this will all play out but whichever bike the R.D.L. seat ends up on, someone is going to have a happy butt.
Had my seat done by Russell , have had it back about 3 weeks & really enjoying it. I am 5"10" with a 32" in seam. The seat sits up about 1 1/2" higher which gives the legs a more comfortable fit. They also did one several years ago for a CTX I had. They are a little pricey & you have about a month turn around time from when you mail it, but I was ok with that.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
watching with interest Bobert, hope you are able to get it just right for her! :{)
I might just keep it for me if she likes my Corbin :cool:

She loved the comfort of the R.D.L. but not the width of the wings.
 

dduelin

Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
5,057
Reaction score
1,583
Points
113
Location
North FL USA
Visit site
And RDLs aren't for everybody or even the thing for all bikes that one owns. I tried an RDL touring saddle on the ST1300 and it was like sitting on a very comfortable bar stool. Comfortable but less than useful for cornering, it's squishiness removing much of the tactile connection of butt to the bike and the wings did the same for me as your wife - decreased leg reach to ground. OTOH I love the RDL on my Goldwing. It has a longer "nose" and so when I stop and shift slightly forward the wings don't impede my leg reach to the ground yet the dished seating area isn't squishy soft and disconnected from the seat pan.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
... I tried an RDL touring saddle on the ST1300 and it was like sitting on a very comfortable bar stool. Comfortable but less than useful for cornering, it's squishiness removing much of the tactile connection of butt to the bike and the wings did the same for me as your wife - decreased leg reach to ground. ..
I'm rather surprised how comfortable it is, I can understand why she likes it. I don't notice it squishy at all, the foam on her's is actually reasonably firm, but very much comfortable bar stool shaped ... or more like an old metal tractor seat shape. With the tips of the wings now slightly curved down, and the tips shortened and rounded a bit, the seat shape remains the same comfortable shape but the reach to the ground is improved. It has probably lost a little support to the thighs while in riding position but I don't have enough experience with it pre-modification to notice the loss post-modification.
 

dduelin

Site Supporter
Joined
Jul 16, 2012
Messages
5,057
Reaction score
1,583
Points
113
Location
North FL USA
Visit site
I’m sorry, did you install a ST1300 seat on your wife's bike?

The point was on different model bikes an RDL may deliver a different experience. One on one bike will not necessarily mirror the feel on another. I like the one on my Goldwing but did not like the RDL I tried on my ST. Then there is the rider's style of riding which for me and your wife might be very different.
 

Rapturee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2018
Messages
1,873
Reaction score
418
Points
83
Location
Post Falls IDAHO
Visit site
i loved my RDL i had on my 12' but it went with the bike. I have tried to bring myself to pony up for a new one for the 15' but man i just can't bring myself to do it $$$.$$.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
Well I'm now riding with the Russell's Day Long, at least for the near future. She has my Corbin and I heard no complaints through the CARDO headset :D while we were out today.

The R.D.L. with the tips of the wings clipped, is very comfortable on the road and works well for me at stoplights. I typically dropped 1 foot flat and the toe of the other foot for stability at long stop lights. I need to scoot forward a little to fully flat foot. I am happy with the shape and she is not unhappy with my Corbin so I am generally thinking that we have switched seats. But ultimately that will be up to her.

I will very likely put another layer of thin foam on the pan part of the seat before I recover, but I'll need to find an appropriate medium density foam, that is not too thick, that will work properly for the purpose.

New cover fabric is on its way, should arrive before the end of the month.
 

CapeMan

Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
135
Reaction score
179
Points
43
Location
Prescott, AZ
Visit site
Well I'm now riding with the Russell's Day Long, at least for the near future. She has my Corbin and I heard no complaints through the CARDO headset :D while we were out today.

The R.D.L. with the tips of the wings clipped, is very comfortable on the road and works well for me at stoplights. I typically dropped 1 foot flat and the toe of the other foot for stability at long stop lights. I need to scoot forward a little to fully flat foot. I am happy with the shape and she is not unhappy with my Corbin so I am generally thinking that we have switched seats. But ultimately that will be up to her.

I will very likely put another layer of thin foam on the pan part of the seat before I recover, but I'll need to find an appropriate medium density foam, that is not too thick, that will work properly for the purpose.

New cover fabric is on its way, should arrive before the end of the month.
When I rebuilt a seat a while back (not the NC), I used a relatively thin layer of visco-elastic foam - think "tempur-pedic" beds and the like - for my top layer. It worked like a champ. I seem to recall that I had salvaged it from a Walmart bath mat or some such and used spray contact adhesive to keep it in place.
 

sea dweller

Member
Joined
May 1, 2021
Messages
25
Reaction score
25
Points
13
Location
Palm City , Fl
Visit site
When I rebuilt a seat a while back (not the NC), I used a relatively thin layer of visco-elastic foam - think "tempur-pedic" beds and the like - for my top layer. It worked like a champ. I seem to recall that I had salvaged it from a Walmart bath mat or some such and used spray contact adhesive to keep it in place.
Glad you were able to modify & use the seat. They are a great seat & I am really enjoying mine. Had it out Sunday for a 100 mile run & really was a comfortable ride. I was also trying out new highway pegs installed. They also worked out great.
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
When I rebuilt a seat a while back (not the NC), I used a relatively thin layer of visco-elastic foam - think "tempur-pedic" beds and the like - for my top layer. It worked like a champ. I seem to recall that I had salvaged it from a Walmart bath mat or some such and used spray contact adhesive to keep it in place.
I have a piece of TempurePedic, but it is fairly thick. IF I can cut off a thin part of it it would make a nice top layer to the seat. Just not sure I have any tool/knife that will do the job of turning a think piece into a thin piece. Ideally I'd like a 1" think piece of the foam for the 'butt' portion of the seat. Just not sure how to get that from the 4"thick piece of foam I own.
 

CapeMan

Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
135
Reaction score
179
Points
43
Location
Prescott, AZ
Visit site
I have a piece of TempurePedic, but it is fairly thick. IF I can cut off a thin part of it it would make a nice top layer to the seat. Just not sure I have any tool/knife that will do the job of turning a think piece into a thin piece. Ideally I'd like a 1" think piece of the foam for the 'butt' portion of the seat. Just not sure how to get that from the 4"thick piece of foam I own.
Yeah, I just mentioned Tempurepedic as an example of what visco-elastic foam is as contrasted with just a piece of regular or upholstery foam. And I wouldn't have the first clue as to how to cut off a 1" slab from a 4" piece either, but I'd betcha that the pros would.
 

MZ5

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
1,932
Reaction score
252
Points
83
Location
Arizona, USA
Visit site
Electric carving knife is what we use (Dad makes all his own seats, and I've made one for my wife and re-shaped one of mine). Just like slicing a brick of cheese, some people cut straight, some people don't...
(-:
 

melensdad

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2018
Messages
1,817
Reaction score
1,600
Points
113
Location
usa
Visit site
Yeah, I just mentioned Tempurepedic as an example of what visco-elastic foam is as contrasted with just a piece of regular or upholstery foam. And I wouldn't have the first clue as to how to cut off a 1" slab from a 4" piece either, but I'd betcha that the pros would.
I found a pretty simple solution. Amazon sells 27" x 27" square pieces of visco-elastic memory foam in various thicknesses. Cheaper and easier to order the piece from them than to destroy what I have with the tools I have, and I don't own an electric carving knife. Foam should arrive at the end of the month. Seat fabric will probably arrive a couple days earlier. I have 3m spray adhesive for upholstery from some projects we had done previously so when all the components arrive the seat reassembly into its finished form should be a fairly simple process.

Thanks for the tip on the tempurpedic material, it set me looking for a good solution.
 
Top